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  • Renata Joseph

Speaking Terms


When I struggle to make sense of hard things, or can't seem to hold onto positivity, I get quiet. I shut down. I don't want to talk about it, I don't want to verbally process with anyone. I want to shut off my brain and keep to myself. I want to lick my wounds and be miserable for awhile.


My tendency to shut people out when I'm down isn't limited to my family and friends (poor Eddie), it extends to God Himself. I get quiet. I shut down and I shut Him out too. I tell myself, "We're not speaking right now." It's not a crisis of faith; we're just momentarily not on speaking terms.


Thinking of that phrase makes me wonder about the terms of our relationship. Are they written down somewhere or implied? Are they personal to Him and me, or universal? What makes me think I have a choice between speaking to God or not?


Throughout the Bible are story after story of how people prayed to, argued with, ran from, wrestled with, and worshipped God. No two stories are the same because each person brought their own personality and mess into the mix. The whole point of having a relationship with a living God is that it is personal and alive. By entering into relationship with Him, you are accepting the terms of a living covenant.


The terms of our agreement are: all of Him for all of Me. Anything I need can be found in Him; forgiveness, provision, safety, peace, purpose... what He requires in exchange is all of me; all my skills, my allegiance, affection, trust, love. He gave His life to secure abundant life for me. I give up control of my life in order to accept the abundant one He has planned for me.


He called out to Adam and Eve in the garden. He called out to Cain in the field and Peter on the seashore. When we turn away, He draws near. When we hide away in pain or shame, He calls us back into relationship.


As I plug my ears in my self-imposed solitude, He is speaking. While I wallow in sadness He whispers my name. When I'm disappointed or defiant, hurt or feeling abandoned, He calls to me. Even when I declare that we're not on speaking terms, my heavenly Father doesn't cut me off. He's shown me this, and has told me this, in no uncertain terms.


Deuteronomy 31:6

"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

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